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Roger Motut

Dr. Roger Motut is well known as one of the leaders of the Franco-Albertan community. Originally from Saskatchewan, Dr Motut completed his studies at the Collège des Jésuites in Edmonton and his Normal School in Ottawa. He also completed a B.A. at l’Université Laval. During the war he served in the canadian aviation. After having completed a B.Ed at the University of Alberta, Roger and his family moved to Bonnyville were he accepted a teaching position. But because he dreamed of teaching at the university he moved his family to Saint-Albert so that he could register in a Masters program at the U of A.

Roger Motut completed his doctorate at the University of Washington. Having lived one year in the United States, Dr Motut brought his family back to Edmonton were he was offered a position teaching French in the Department of Romance Languages at the U of A. In 1964, he was named Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts. Later in his career he also served as Chairman of the Departement of Romance Languages for a period of three years.

In April of 1969, Dr. Motut was elected president of the Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta (ACFA). It is during his presidency that the ACFA will finally have access to federal funding. After the adoption in 1969 of the Official Laguages Act by the Parliament of Canada, the Secretary of State established several programs which offered financial support to Canada’s linguistic minorities.

French television was one of the projects that the ACFA brought to the attention of the Secretary of State, Mr. Pelletier, in April of 1969. A few months later CBC Radio-Canada announced the opening of a new television station in Edmonton. It was understood that for the first three years of its mandate CBC’s new station would be bilingual and that the Metropolitan Edmonton Educational Television Association would be responsible for the English programming.

In 1969, the ACFA hoped that Collège Saint-Jean would become the official francophone teacher preparation center for all of Western Canada. Dr Motut met with the honorable Harry Strom, the premier of Alberta, in the hope of gaining the government’s support for this project. The ACFA also asked the Alberta government to host the annual banquet of the ACELF that was to be held in Edmonton in August of 1969.

Dr. Motut was re-elected as president of the ACFA in February 1978. It is during this second mandate that the ACFA established its Fondation. The funds had been collected from the sale of the land on which the CHFA transmitter had been located.

Dr. Motut’s work as President of the ACFA resulted in many victories for the Franco-Albertan community. When asked how he found the time to do everything he answered that it was a labor of love. He added that at that time, people worked for their children and for the future of the Francophone community. They also worked for a cause. During his long career Dr Motut received many honors including the Order of Canada.

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